Online Master of Arts in Special Education (Applied Behavior Analysis)

With an applied behavior analysis degree, you will learn the principles and foundations of applied behavior analysis and how it can be used to teach new skills and improve human behavior. The courses in this program are verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International® and can prepare you to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)® exam.

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Quick facts

Next start date: 03/08/2021


Total classes: 10

Weeks per class: 7.5

Total credit hours: 30

Degree questions, answered.

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What is applied behavior analysis?

Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, is a systematic and scientifically-based approach to understanding behavior. ABA can be used to teach new skills, enhance performance or reduce challenging behaviors in people of all ages, with or without disabilities. The specific focus of ABA therapy is unique to each person or situation, but in general, the goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful and promote learning. Applied behavior analysis can be used with any population including children, adults, families and communities. There are also a variety of settings in which ABA is useful such as education, business and health care.

Our applied behavior analysis degree will teach you the process of ABA while focusing on ethical principles and evidence-based best practices. This includes practicing how to assess behavior, develop personalized therapy plans and use data to track progress. You’ll also discover how people learn and explore theories of behavior change.

Is applied behavior analysis a good career?

 

The need for ABA expertise is growing across the country meaning there are ample career opportunities in the field. A recent report from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board found demand for individuals holding BCBA or BCBA-D certification has increased by 80%. Likewise, ABA professionals can achieve comfortable salaries while engaged in meaningful work. According to PayScale, applied behavior therapists earn an average of $60,900 per year. ABA degree holders can also experience strong job satisfaction because their career assists individuals who often benefit from the extra support.

Will this degree help me to become an ABA therapist?

 

Becoming an ABA therapist is one of the potential career paths for graduates from this program. While this is a special education degree with an ABA concentration, the program is designed to prepare you for any and all ABA careers not just those in education. You’ll have the opportunity throughout the degree to tailor assignments to align with your career goals. This includes the culminating experience, in which you’ll produce a capstone project, applied project or electronic portfolio.

Professional licensure and certification

Arizona State University’s ABA programs include coursework that meets the Association for Behavior Analysis International verified course sequence requirements to qualify to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA) exam. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the exam. We offer an optional practicum for students seeking to accrue BCBA supervised field experience.

The authority to practice applied behavior analysis, or use the title of behavior analyst, is granted on a state-by-state basis. Many states require BCBA certification for licensure. However, not all states have enacted legislation to create a regulatory body for ABA licensure and not all states that have licensure require BCBA certification. No Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College ABA program leads to teacher certification. Learn more about professional licensure.

ABA graduate program classes

This ABA degree offers verified coursework that meets the requirements for the BCBA exam. This means our curriculum meets the highest standards and teaches empathetic and scientifically proven methods for behavior change. Courses throughout the program will give you the opportunity to gain practical experience with ABA and get feedback from certified instructors with professional experience in the field.


Required Core

Measurement, Data Display, Interpretation & Experimental Design


Concentration

Concepts & Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis


Concentration

Behavior Analytic Assessment


Concentration

Behavior Change Procedures: Implementing Interventions in Behavior Analysis


Concentration

Personnel Supervision and Organizational Behavior Management in Educational Settings


Concentration

Philosophical Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis in Educational Settings


Concentration

Ethics of Applied Behavior Analysis


Elective

Controversial Therapies; Science, Fad and Pseudoscience in Educational Settings


What can you do with an ABA degree?

Graduates with a master’s in applied behavior analysis can work in education, program management, speech pathology, social work, behavioral consulting and more. For example, in special education ABA is useful in helping students who face learning or behavior challenges such as autism or ADHD. ABA can also be used to improve workplace culture, increase sustainability practices and boost performance in sports. Students in this program are not required to earn the BCBA certification and there are many careers where ABA skills are useful but BCBA certification is not required. This degree does not lead to teacher certification. Potential careers include:

ABA therapist.

Behavior specialist.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Clinical director.

Consultant.

Early interventionist.

Educator.

Researcher.

Faculty who connect research with experience

The faculty of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College draws from a range of academic disciplines — including cognitive science, psychology and economics — to gain insight into important questions about the process of learning, the practice of teaching and the effects of education policy. The faculty is committed to connecting research to schools and other learning environments. Our teacher and leadership preparation programs combine scholarly rigor with practical application.

Faculty who connect research with experience

The faculty of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College draws from a range of academic disciplines — including cognitive science, psychology and economics — to gain insight into important questions about the process of learning, the practice of teaching and the effects of education policy. The faculty is committed to connecting research to schools and other learning environments. Our teacher and leadership preparation programs combine scholarly rigor with practical application.

Applied behavior analysis degree admission requirements

Applicants to the Master of Arts in special education who want to pursue the applied behavior analysis concentration must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Application requirements

Additional admission information

One of the best colleges of education in the nation

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College brings people and ideas together to increase the capabilities of individual educators and the performance of education systems. ASU is ranked #17 in the world in the subject area of education, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Our college of education is ranked in the top 20 in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2021 Best Online Programs rankings. These peer-reviewed programmatic honors include:

#1


best online master’s in curriculum and instruction.

#1


best online master’s in instructional media.

#1


best online master’s in educational administration programs.

#3


best online master’s in special education.

Tuition calculator

Our tuition calculator can help you estimate full-time tuition fees for this program without financial aid. Keep in mind: More than 80% of our students receive financial aid.

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